Strawberries are one of the most popular summer fruits available. Because of their short growing season, they are normally quick-frozen to preserve their nutrients and to make them available during the months when they are out of season. When frozen correctly, strawberries retain the majority of their nutrients without losing flavor or fiber.
Strawberries are full of antioxidants. With an abundance of anthocyanins, flavonoids and ellagitannins in their nutritional arsenal, strawberries are thought to offer many benefits as an anti-inflammatory. They also have the capability of helping to control blood glucose levels. Vitamin C, manganese and folate are found in ample amounts in strawberries, not to mention its high fiber content. A strawberry’s high fiber content is part of the reason why it is so effective in helping to control cholesterol.
Fiber interacts with molecules of oil and fat and carries them out of the body, preventing them from entering the circulatory system and collecting in the body as fat and in the arteries as plaque. Fiber works along with the other nutrients contained in strawberries to improve cardiovascular health and keep blood flowing freely throughout the body. Cholesterol can cause blockages in blood vessels that hamper the flow of blood and put stress on the cardiovascular system. Eating the right amount of strawberries each day can help reduce the level of cholesterol in the body and prevent it from causing blockages.
Studies have revealed that people who do not have a weight problem can benefit from adding strawberries to their diet just as much as those who are obese. Depending on a person’s size, weight and overall physical condition, consuming anywhere from 110 to 500 grams of strawberries every day can sufficiently reduce a person’s cholesterol by as much as 28 percent. While consuming strawberries in their freshest state provides the most nutrients, this versatile fruit does not begin to lose its nutritive value until almost 48 hours after it has been harvested. This gives a person plenty of time to clean, prepare and consume them.
Strawberries can be consumed several ways and still provide maximum benefits. Fresh, frozen, dried and in powder form, strawberries are capable of reducing cholesterol levels no matter how they are consumed. Fresh strawberries can be eaten in desserts or as a healthy snack. Frozen strawberries are ideal for cooking and can be used in almost any recipe that asks for fresh fruits. Dried strawberries can also be used in recipes that call for fresh strawberries. Powdered strawberries can be added to yogurts, ice cream and fruit smoothies to improve flavor and add an abundance of nutrients.
Strawberries are proving to be quite effective at boosting the immune system, regulating blood glucose levels and lowering the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream. Adding them to a person’s diet not only reduces cholesterol but also boosts the levels of other much needed nutrients.